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This is what asthma patients can do to prevent severe COVID-19 outcomes

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

Around 25 million Americans are living with asthma, which could be a serious problem given the widespread transmission of COVID.

Asthma amounts to approximately 1 in 13 Americans, 8 percent of adults and 7 percent of children being affected.

The results of the study, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, points out that asthma patients should continue to take control of medications during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those who require clinical attention.

According to a large study by USC and Kaiser Permanente South California, individuals with well-controlled asthma have less severe COVID-19 results than those with uncontrolled asthma.

“Anyone with asthma should continue to work with their healthcare provider to ensure they are getting the best treatment for their asthma, which leads to better asthma control and decreases the likelihood of severe COVID-19 outcomes,” says co-first author Zhanghua Chen.

To conduct their research, researchers collected data from Kaiser Permanente Southern California from March 1 to August 31, 2020, on 6,338 COVID-19 patients using electronic medical records. The age was average of 43.9; 53.9 percent were women and 66 percent were Hispanic.  

Prior to their COVID-19 diagnosis, medical codes were used to determine whether these patients had asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Researchers separated the data further, which included the “active” group for each patient who had had an asthma hospital visit within a 12-month period and the “inactive” group for those who had not visited the hospital.

The inactive asthma group consisted of 2,751 patients, while the active asthma group consisted of 2,775 patients. Additionally, 820 patients had a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Within 30 days of COVID-19 diagnosis, patients with active asthma had significantly higher odds of hospitalization, the need for intensive respiratory support (IRS), and ICU admission compared to those with inactive asthma or no history of asthma or COPD.

COPD was associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation, the need for intensive respiratory support, and death within 60 days of COVID-19 infection. Notably, the researchers found no evidence of an increased risk of death within 60 days in the active asthma group. 

“This study went beyond examining asthma’s impact on COVID-19 outcomes, and instead focused on how COVID-19 outcomes might change for asthma patients depending on their level of asthma control,” said study author Anny H. Xiang, PhD, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation.

“We also saw that even in patients with active asthma, if they were using asthma medications their odds of worsened COVID-19 outcomes decreased, which demonstrates just how important these medications are.”

Image Credit: Getty

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